ECE Ph.D. student Sagnik Dasgupta wins Best Poster Award at the IEEE Photovoltaics Conference for his innovative research on manufacturing high-efficiency silicon solar cells using laser oxidation, offering a scalable and cost-effective solution with the potential to make solar electricity two to three times cheaper than fossil fuels, contributing to a more sustainable future.

Ph.D. student, Sagnik Dasgupta, has won the Best Poster Award at the prestigious 50th IEEE Photovoltaics Specialists Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The award recognizes his outstanding contribution in the field of "Area 4: Silicon Photovoltaic Materials and Devices." He is a member of Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi's group University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaics (UCEP) whose mission is to improve the fundamental understanding of the science and technology of advanced PV devices, to fabricate record high efficiency solar cells, to provide training and enrich the educational experience of students in this field, and to give the U.S. a competitive edge by providing guidelines to industry and DOE for achieving cost-effective and high-efficiency PV devices.

Dasgupta's winning paper, “Patterning the Front Polysilicon Contact for Silicon Solar Cells using Laser Oxidation," presents an innovative, rapid, and scalable process to manufacture next-generation, low-cost, and highly efficient silicon solar cells. The proposed method employs laser-oxidation techniques to pattern the front polysilicon contact, effectively reducing parasitic absorption. This, combined with the utilization of 'Tunnel Oxide Passivated Contacts (TOPCON)' technology to minimize diffusion and metal-induced recombination, significantly enhances the overall efficiency of the solar cells.

The breakthrough approach described in Dasgupta's research holds great promise for the solar energy industry. By reducing costs and increasing efficiency, this technique has the potential to make solar electricity two to three times cheaper than fossil fuels. This accomplishment aligns with the growing global demand for renewable energy solutions and contributes to a more sustainable future.